New legislation will make claiming compensation for accidents at work more difficult
I shall tell you. The Government has fixed it so that from now on, if you are injured at work because of a criminal breach of health and safety regulations by your employer, you will no longer be able to use that as a basis for a claim for compensation. From now on a criminal breach is not sufficient; you will also have to show that your employer has been negligent.
Pause for a moment to let the full impact of that penetrate. Yes, that’s right, your employer commits a criminal offence under health and safety law; you get injured because of it; but because your employer was not actually careless about it, you have NO COMPENSATION CLAIM.
Legions of pundits and commentators who do not know anything about injury law will already be jabbering about how it’s rebalancing the regulatory burden on the employer; how UK plc. needs less health and safety red-tape (quite true); and how this will actually have virtually no effect upon injured claimants (completely untrue).
Those of us who work in personal injury law and know exactly what’s been going on for the last 10 years will wearily nod their heads in fatalistic cynicism. The government and the insurance industry are hell-bent on lining each others pockets by eroding the rights of the rest of us. They work on the basis that most of us think “Well, it doesn’t affect me and hey, I shall get a nice little reduction on my insurance premium if the insurers are not paying out all these millions of pounds in injury claims.
One – I wouldn’t count on it.
Two – it may well affect you or yours one of these days.
Three- it is already too late and will keep on being too late unless and until ordinary people start paying attention to the nasty little dodges being foisted upon them by a government that doesn’t give a damn for the public.
And to really rub a bucket load of salt into the wound, we have Matthew Stockwell, the president of The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, of all people, going on record as saying that he is confident that good employers out there won’t take advantage of this.
Really? So insurers won’t use any legal means of defeating a claim for compensation? They will voluntarily get out the cheque book, even though the law now says they don’t have to pay? Compensation will be offered by a benevolent and caring insurance industry to injured workers, just because that’s the great kind of guys they are?
Despite these “reforms” we remain committed to recovering compensation for victims of industrial accidents and accidents at work. For a FREE assessment of your work accident claim call us on Freephone 0333 888 0408.